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Judge drops theft case after another MPD officer fails to show up in court

WPMI

Last month NBC 15 told you about a burglary case that was dropped because a Mobile police officer failed to show up to court.

Tuesday, a Mobile County judge dismissed yet another case because again, no officer showed up for court.

In this case a man was accused of stealing thousands of dollars from his former employer.

In July 36-year-old Thomas Burns was charged with theft. Accused of embezzling around $20,000 from a State Farm office he managed in Mobile.

Tuesday a judge dismissed the case because no officer from the MPD showed up to court.

Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich says the case was waiting to be re-assigned to another officer.

"The officer who originally investigated this case has left the Mobile Police Department so they're in the process of reassigning all of his cases," Rich said.

No word on why the case wasn't re-assigned before Tuesday's court date. Family members of the victim say it's all a bit frustrating.

"Obviously somebody was supposed to be there who wasn't there and certainly the case should not have been dismissed and I think it's frustrating that it's going to take longer than it should have taken," Laura Cruz said.

According to Rich the case is not over. She says just because a case is dismissed in district court doesn't mean it goes away.

"The DA office has an opportunity to present the case to a grand jury if they feel it's necessary," she said.

We reached out to Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste who says he's looking into this situation and will meet with us Wednesday to discuss it.

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